Heavy Metal Dancers

HEAVY METAL DANCERS is a documentary about five diverse people with the same hobby: pole sports. The athletes are Finnish, but their stories are universal. For them, it is not just a sport. It has helped them to accept their imperfections, to deal with difficult experiences, and to find their path.

Pole dancing is not an easy activity. It requires strength, bare skin, flexibility, and high tolerance to pain. The skin rubbing against the pole, adds more bodily imperfections and gives space to a new way of thinking about yourself, your body, and what matters to them.

The stories of the protagonists in our film vary from an insecure woman who slowly discovers her true calling and comes out of her shell to a man breaking all barriers and stereotypes. The training is hard and most of them do it out of excitement and passion but for others, it has become their true calling. For all of them, it has been something that has changed and shaped their lives, taking some of them from cramped living rooms to World Championships.

The ultimate purpose of the documentary is not only to shine a light on this aesthetic and high-risk sport but also to redefine the way the audience views their own body and the meaning their body has in their lives since usually, the biggest limitation to our goals lies not in our body but in our head.


Olavi Heino
Olavi Heino
Nita Saarenpää
Nita Saarenpää
Tintti Mikkonen
Tintti Mikkonen
Henna Nurmi
Henna Nurmi
Oona Antinjuntti
Oona Antinjuntti
Heavy Metal Dancers - Poster 2

Heavy Metal Dancers

Gretta Sammalniemi

  • Documentary
Production Country / Year
Germany 2021
fi. OF mit en. UT
DCP, Color, 79min
1.78:1 (16:9), Discrete 5.1

Director & Crew

Gretta Sammalniemi 1

Gretta Sammalniemi

Born in 1988 and studied and lived in Tornio. During her studies at Kemi-Tornio University of Applied Sciences in Finland. Moved to Germany in 2013, current studies in Fiction Film Directing at the University of Television and Film in Munich (HFF). 



2012 LES FEUX ARCTIQUES, Dokumentarfilm 2013 SUNRISE, Kurzfilm

2015 MOTHER LOVE, Kurzfilm 2017 A PARK, A MAN AND A HOTDOG SELLER, Kurzfilm

2021 HEAVY METAL DANCERS, Dokumentarfilm

Director of Photography
Georg Nikolaus
Ilya Gavrilenkov
Sound Designer
Andras Goldbrunner
Gerhard Auer
Music Composer
Alexander Thomas Mathewson
Alexander Mathewson
Martin Gerke
Lukas Kout
Sandra Hölzel
Natalie Hölzel